Vietnam, one of the few countries in the world that have been successful in managing the Covid-19 pandemic, has cautiously opened its borders since November 2020. Vietnamese authorities have further relaxed their travel restrictions by allowing the entry of businessmen, investors, and other foreign visitors with essential reasons to visit. French citizens who are planning to visit Vietnam for some important reasons should apply for a business visa to be allowed entry into the country. The only way to visit Vietnam during this Covid-19 pandemic is to have a visa. Here’s everything that a French citizen should know when visiting Vietnam these days.
Changes to Vietnam Visas Due to Covid-19
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, French citizens can enter Vietnam without having to apply for a visa since they are among those foreign nationals that are eligible for the Vietnam visa exemption program. As a French national, they can enter the country even without a visa but their stay must be less than 15 days. Beyond that, they need to apply for a visa.
To limit the entry of foreigners and minimize the spread of Covid-19, Vietnam has temporarily suspended the visa exemption program. So the only way that French travelers can enter the country these days is to get a business visa. To apply for the business visa, a French traveler must first have a sponsor company that can apply for the visa on his or her behalf.
Who Can Enter Vietnam During the Covid-19 Pandemic?
To further protect its citizens from the rapid spread of the Covid-19, Vietnamese authorities have decided to limit the entry of foreign visitors. French citizens who are traveling for holiday or leisure will not be allowed to enter the country. The only foreign visitors that can enter the country at this time are the following:
- Foreign businessmen and investors
- Skilled workers
- Experts working on essential projects in Vietnam
- Foreign residents returning home
- Diplomats and their family members
Vietnam Business Visa Requirements for French Citizens in the Covid-19 pandemic
To apply for a business visa to Vietnam, you should prepare the following:
- Vietnam-based sponsor company
- Letter to the Local People’s Committee coming from the sponsor company
- Travel permit that will be issued by the Local People’s Committee
- Confirmed hotel booking where guests can stay for the 14-day quarantine
- Pre-booked vehicle for airport pickup
Procedures of Applying for a Vietnam Business Visa this Covid-19 Pandemic
Below are the steps on how to apply for a business visa to Vietnam when visiting during this Covid-19 season.
- First of all, your sponsor company should send a letter to the Local People’s Committee to ask for permission regarding your visit. It should include details about the reason why you need to go to Vietnam during this time and some information about your work.
- Once approved, the Local People’s Committee will issue the travel permit, which is an important requirement for the business visa application. Your sponsor company should go to the Vietnam Immigration Department to submit the travel permit and other requirements needed for the business visa.
- After about a week or two, the Vietnam Immigration Department will issue the business visa if they approve your visit. At this point, you can start to book your flight to Vietnam.
The process of going to Vietnam during this time of the pandemic is somewhat complicated. It can even be more difficult if you do not have a sponsor company in Vietnam. In this case, you can use the services of a local agency that can act as your sponsor company and will request a travel permit from the Local People’s Committee of the city in Vietnam that you plan to visit.
Another important requirement that the Vietnamese authorities will require from all foreign visitors is travel insurance with Covid-19 coverage. But those who do not have insurance can submit a document signed by the sponsor company stating that they agree to pay for the cost of your treatment if you get sick with Covid-19.
Covid-19 Test and Quarantine Requirements
All foreigners entering Vietnam these days will be asked to submit a negative result of a Covid-19 test. The test should be performed at a WHO-certified lab in France and should be taken at least 3 to 5 days before the travel date.
Aside from submitting proof of a negative Covid-19 result, all foreign visitors will be required to go on a 14-day quarantine when they arrived in the country. The quarantine can be done at some of the hotels in the country. These are 3-star and 4-star hotels that the Vietnam government has designated as quarantine facilities for foreign visitors. The hotel booking should be good for 14 days and must include a pre-booked vehicle for airport pickup since all foreign visitors are not allowed to take a taxi or any public transportation coming from the airport.